Archive for ‘politics’

December 21, 2012

President Obama taps Kerry for Secretary of State

Kerry nom

President Obama has chosen Massachusetts Senator John F Kerry (right), as his nominee to be the next U.S Secretary of State….( LA Times, from Carolyn Castor/ Associated Press )

President Obama has nominated Massachusetts Senator and former Democratic Presidential candidate John F Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as the 68th U.S Secretary of State, a move that could lead to yet another high stakes Senate race in the Commonwealth.

 The President announced the nomination to members of the press Friday afternoon, during a joint appearance with Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden in the White House Roosevelt room. In his prepared remarks, the President lauded the five-term lawmaker and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for what he called ‘an extraordinarily distinguished career’.

 “Over these many years, John has earned the respect and confidence of leaders around the world,” said the President. “I think it’s safe to say that few individuals know as many Presidents and Prime Ministers or grasps our foreign policies as firmly as John Kerry.”

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June 5, 2012

7 News/ Suffolk University Poll: Massachusetts senate race tied

Just a single point separates the two likely candidates in the much anticipated Massachusetts Senate race according to a recent poll released on Wednesday May 23.

A 7 News Suffolk University poll of 600 likely voters taken between May 20 and 22, shows Republican incumbent Senator Scott Brown leading Democrat Elizabeth Warren 48 to 47 percent, well within the polls’ margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Another five percent said they were undecided, while one percent refused to answer.

Brown. a freshman Republican exploded onto the national political scene in January 2010 with an upset victory over Democrat Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in the special election to fill the senate seat left vacant following the August 2009 death of longtime Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy; is being challenged in his bid for a full term of his own by former Harvard Law Professor and Obama administration special adviser Elizabeth Warren. Despite her lack of prior political experience, Warren’s populist critiques of Wall Street lending practices has made her popular with progressive activists.

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March 3, 2012

Primary/Cacus Wire: Washington State

Pic from blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com

Before Tuesday’s coast to coast Republican primaries and  caucuses in ten states across the nation, Washington state is holding its caucuses tonight. Forty delegates will later be awarded to the winner at a statewide convention in May.

In a press release from the Washington State Secretary’s office, it is predicted that 60,000 Washington registered voters will take part in caucuses at an estimated 6,700 precincts across the state. The Democratic caucuses in which President Obama is unchallenged, will be held April 15.

Fresh off wins in the Arizona and Michigan primaries Tuesday, as well as the unofficial Wyoming Republican caucuses; a recent PPP opinion poll of state Republicans shows Romney with a five point lead over former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who had an eleven point lead in a poll in mid February. Fellow candidates former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul trail behind them.

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January 18, 2012

Warren fundraising strength shows, while both sides seek to curb super PAC ads

Seeking to capitalize on last week’s news that they brought in more money from donors in the closing three months of 2011 than incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown, the campaign of  Massachusetts Democratic Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren detonated a ‘money bomb’ Friday, that will deliver even more.

The fundraising blitz, which according to the campaign staff has already brought in $236,000, is scheduled to coincide with the two-year anniversary of Brown’s surprise victory over Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley in the 2010 Special Election  to complete the term of Sen. Edward M Kennedy, who died in August 2009.

Last Wednesday, the Warren campaign disclosed that during the fourth fundraising quarter of 2011, (or what is the term  employed to what us mortal refer to as October, November, and December), Warren raked in $5.7 million, while Brown raised $3.2 million during that same period.

Still Brown now has a campaign account totaling $12.8 million, while Warren who began flirting with a  possible Senate run in August and rocketed to the top of the Democratic primary field in September, has $6 million altogether.

Recent polls suggest that Warren maintains has developed a slim lead over Brown in the strongly liberal state. But Brown’s staunch support from Republicans, likability among independents,and image as a bi-partisan problem solver willing to defy partisan orthodoxy, makes Brown a strong candidate. 

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January 4, 2012

Iowa Republican Caucuses live blogging stylistic inconsistencies and all.

Pic courtesy- I and R institute.org

Update- Romney wins by eight votes!

The Iowa caucuses are tonight, as voters in the Hawk eye state wade out into the night of January to cast a vote, marking the first contest of the primary season to begin the process of selecting a Republican nominee, to go up against Senator Barack Obama in the Autumn.

Since 1972 for Democrats and 1976 Republicans have made the Iowa caucuses  the first stop in then process to narrowing the field in the process of selecting a Presidential candidate to be  their party’s candidate. In the months leading up to that January night, candidates, typically flock to the state know for its prairies and cornfields, to converse with voters, get exposure without spending wads of money (well fewer wads of money then they would on tv spots and other advertizing in larger states), with the country waiting with bated breath to see who these voters will select.

Tonight Barack Obama has no Democratic primary challenger (and presidents running for re-election rarely have), though Democrats and Obama campaign organizers say they are treating it as a sort of rehearsal to gauge their strength in the general election (since Iowa is a so-called ‘swing state and if you don’t know what that phrase means then I don’t know what to say except look it up by clicking on the link to this online dictionary). By the way I never heard the term ‘floating voter’ used, even though it is listed as a synonym for ‘swing voter’.

U.S Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), former  Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), and former 2008 Republican contender Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)  vying in a battle for the top spot according to polls, as doors close at the caucuses are about to be called for order.

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December 13, 2011

State Rep. Tom Conroy bows out of Massachusetts Senate race

The number of candidates in the Democratic primary field was widled down further yesterday, when State Rep. Tom Conroy  declared that he will be ending his campaign to be the party’s nominee in next year’s Massachusetts Senate race.  Instead, Conroy says he will  run for a fourth term to his seat in the Massachusetts House, where he represents the communities of Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland which comprise the 13th Middlesex District.

News of the former Washinton D.C Foreign Policy aide turned private sector consultant turned state politician’s departure from the race came Monday morning in the form of a letter posted on his campaign website.

Through October and November, I delivered a strong and clear message about who I am, why I was running, and why I could win. I continued to learn about the concerns and hopes of voters throughout Massachusetts. Your stories, ideas and suggestions inspired me. Your generous contributions of time, talent and treasure empowered our team to continue efforts to win back the US Senate seat for the future of Massachusetts. However after much reflection, it is clear that, while support for my candidacy has been generous, we could not run the kind of campaign we needed to run throughout next year.

With deep gratitude and a still strong commitment to a winning path forward for all, I am withdrawing from the race for U.S. Senate.

Later in the morning at a press conference in front of the State capitol, where he officially ended his bid and later endorsed Democratic front runner Elizabeth Warren, he reportedly said that the enthusiasm she generated, fund raising success, and name recognition; were all obstacles too large for him to compete against in the primary.

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December 12, 2011

New Poll: Warren ahead of Brown by 7, 55% of voters say they could change thier minds

Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren now tops Sen.Scott Brown (R-MA) by seven points according to a new poll, in what could be one of the only races where Democrats have a chance to pick-up a Republican held seat

Massachusetts Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren has opened up a lead over incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown, besting him by seven points in a hypothetical general election match-up, according to findings in a new poll released on Dec 7.

The survey of 505 registered voters in the Commonwealth,conducted by UMASS Lowell in conjunction with the Boston Herald between Dec 1 and 6, showed Warren defeating Brown by 49-42% in next year’s Senate race.

Warren, a former Harvard Law professor turned Consumer advocate and Obama administration adviser, is still technically competing for the Democratic nomination, against four other candidates. But, given Warren’s name recognition, fundraising by progressive activists, and an onslaught of ads against her by conservative leading groups, it seems she will most likely be the party’s nominee after primary votes are cast in September’s Democratic primary. Brown, a freshman Republican Senator, who’s an upset victory in January 2010 in a Special election for the Senate to fill the seat previously held by Senator Edward M Kennedy and was a precursor to the gains made in the House and Senate in last years midterm elections, faces no Republican primary challenge. 

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November 28, 2011

Weekly Links- Nov 20-27

A little slower than usual on the news front this past week given the Thanksgiving Holiday, but with the Iowa Republican caucuses just thirty-six days away, there seems to be yet another seismic shift in the  field of candidates.

  • The campaign of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been seen as a long shot since it was rather clumsily announced last March. Recent questions about money he made advising Federal Housing giant Freddie Mac and statements he made criticizing child labor laws, seemed like they would be additional blows to an already flagging campaign.
  • But as of about two weeks ago, some opinion polls show Gingrich inching out a lead over former Massachusetts  Governor Mitt Romney, indicating that he may be the latest in a long line of candidates that conservatives are flocking to him, as an alternative to Romney.
  • Last Tuesday, in a CNN Republican primary debate about  National security issues, many observers said Gingrich gave a strong performance.Gingrich, also made headlines in the debate, when he spoke of the need for a ‘more humane’ immigration policy that would forge a pathway to legalization’ for those immigrants who may have entered the country illegally, but now have families in the U.S and have assimilated into the fabric of American life.
  • Some conservatives slammed Gingrich for the move that has been widely seen as a tact to the center. Iowa Congressman Steve King  as well as primary rivals such as Romney and Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann called such a policy ‘amnesty’.
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November 21, 2011

Weekly Links- November 13 – 20 ‘Happy Thanksgiving’

The week began with the clearing out of ‘Occupy’ protesters from Zucotti Park Tuesday morning, and the subsequent re-occupation (minus the tents and camping accouterments) of members of the two month old movement against what they say is corporate advirace and income inequality. Nearly 200 were arrested by police during the eviction.

  •  Structures were dismantled and some property was confiscated by police. Among those entities taken apart, was the so-called ‘People’s Library’, an accumulation of books and periodicals set up for public consumption at the camp site. After Police took down the initial library and confiscated the books, a new collection was begun at Zucotti Park. Then that library was also dismantled and its materials destroyed. The American Library Association has expressed alarm over the incident.
  • In New York City and other communities and college campuses around the globe, ‘Occupy’ demonstrators participated in  what was deemed a ‘National Day of Action’ to condemn the crackdowns, rail against austerity measures, and celebrate the two month anniversary of the movement. Marchers took part in acts of civil disobedience  attempting to shut down financial centers, tie up traffic, fill subways, protest in large banks, and march across bridges and landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge. Hundreds were arrested by police including a retired Philadelphia Police Captain and a  New York City Council member. I will also be posting a slightly belated article on events correlated to the ‘Day of Action’ that took place in Amherst on Thursday.
  •  In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), banking lobbyists reveal their desire to derail the ‘Occupy movement’ and help defeat any Democrats that might sympathize with their calls to reign in the power of large financial institutions that many blame for the 2008 meltdown. They also express fear of a populist alliance between the ‘Occupy’ movement and the ‘Tea Party’ that could be detrimental to them.
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October 28, 2011

Khazei calls it quits in Democratic primary race.

Former Democratic Senate hopeful Alan Khazei (pic courtesy of ioc.harvard.edu).

Social entrepreneur turned  Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Alan Khazei  said Thursday that he will be ending his campaign for the U.S Senate. He made the announcement during  a press conference at his Boston campaign headquarters, a day after a spokesperson with the campaign told the Boston Globe that he would be dropping out.

Though he did not endorse any of the remaining four candidates in the race, including  front-runner and fellow candidate consumer financial advocate  Elizabeth Warren, the City Year co-founder acknowledged that her entry into the then crowded but largely unknown field  ‘ struck a chord with citizens across our state and across our country at all levels of the political process.’

He also slammed Brown, who he said ‘ has failed to lead when our country is crying out for Game changing leadership’ and said he is pulling out of the race to avoid the risk of creating inner party divisions that could produce a weakened candidate and thereby boost Brown’s re-election chances. 

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